I was hoping my father-in-law would be a father figure but he wasn't. Who should I look to next as a father figure?


Nowhere. You need to enjoy the wonderful men in your life for who they are and not who you want them to be. Most likely, none of them will ever be a father figure and fill the emptiness you have for a daddy. That may happen in Hallmark made-for-TV movies but rarely in real life. Once you let go of that unreasonable expectation and practice acceptance, you'll find peace and start enjoying reciprocal relationships with men.

Like you and many other fatherless daughters, I was always looking for a dad figure whether it be an uncle, a teacher, a coach, or a boss. Instead of appreciating what each one had to offer, I was too needy and wanted too much. Therefore, I was always left hurt and disappointed.

With maturity, though, I finally realized that I had to make these bonds more relational, not transactional. I had to stop trying to get my childhood needs met for love, comfort, and protection. I had to start giving instead of receiving. The author and life coach, Iyanla Vanzant says, “What you focus on, grows!” I found that to be the case when I began celebrating each man for his special qualities and opened my eyes to how they were enriching my life.

When I stopped looking at my father-in-law as a surrogate dad who was failing me, our relationship began to flourish. Once I took that lofty expectation off the table, I could enjoy his sense of humor, his storytelling abilities, and his kindness toward my sons. I no longer expected him to fill the hole in my heart left by my dad. I had to do that myself through prayer, meditation, writing in my journal, spending time in nature, and forgiving my father.

Today, I'm the primary caretaker for my aging father-in-law. If I hadn't made peace with him years ago and let go of my expectations, I would be miserable and resentful helping him now. He's been a wonderful grandfather to my boys so caring for him, while difficult at times, is an act of love I do willingly.

Please stop searching for a father figure and enjoy the men in your life for who they are. Once you start to practice acceptance, you'll experience liberation and so much of your stress will dissipate.

Updated on October 13, 2019

Original Article:

Fatherless Daughters: How Growing Up Without a Dad Affects Women
By McKenna Meyers

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)